Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wedded Wednesday - Being Codependent

Wedded Wednesday is a collaboration
of married bloggers sharing their inspirations,
anecdotes, struggles and thoughts regarding
the amazing union of two separate people, as one.

Mr. Lukie and I are reading "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas for our weekly devotional together. Something we read last night really struck a chord with me, especially during this particular season of life that I (we, I suppose) are living in:
"While our society has become expert in self-care, we seemingly have lost the art of caring for others. Sacrifice has taken on such negative connotations that people fear being a "codependent" more than they fear being perceived as selfish."
Oh, how true this rings in my ears! Until we married (almost!) 10 months ago, one of my biggest fears in life was becoming codependent. I refused to be "one of those" women who depended on her spouse for anything, including emotional support and certainly never financial support! 

During my years as a psychology undergrad, the term 'codependent' was never discussed in a positive light. Codependence was unhealthy and certainly not the type of relationship a healthy, independent, well-educated woman would ever wish to find herself in. 

Now? One of my greatest joys in life has been learning how to be in a codependent relationship with my husband. I depend on him for many, many things. ESPECIALLY emotional support (and certainly financial support, currently). So what about the positive, healthy definition of codependence that simply means "mutual dependence?"

Isn't part of the point of marriage to establish a relationship in which we can both depend on one another? Sure, knowing I can "do it all" without my husband is great--should the need ever arise. But I don't need to "do it all" when I have him by my side. Nor do I want to. That desire to be so fiercely independent has mysteriously vanished. 

I don't fear being codependent any longer. I am no longer "looking out for #1" or "taking care of me because...who else will?" Instead, I am taking care of my husband. And it is my intention to do this for the rest of our earthly lives together.

**Did/do you struggle with being independent in your marriage/relationship? How did you overcome this, or what are you currently doing to resolve this?


  1. Since we are high school sweethearts, I never really had to be independent. My parents took care of my college stuff, I worked part-time for extra money, and I moved in with Brandon right after we got married. Sometimes I wonder if I would have made it alone! But learning to be codependent early on made it easier to adjust once we were married.

  2. Hello! Just blogspotting. Great blog! I bookmarkd it.

  3. Hello! Just blogspotting. Great blog! I bookmarkd it.

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said 'you don't need to do it all'. Now I'm back in school I let my husband spoil me, and tell him how much I appreciate it. He in returns likes to take care of me, knowing how grateful I am.

    The biggest difference in this relationship compared to my 'past life' is that we're working together, for the same common goal as a couple; not just to get ahead in life. And it feels pretty damn good.

    I was left on my own after my divorce to fend for myself, and I got the "look out for #1" attitude pretty bad. DH won my heart by showing me over and over that he was working for us - for the dreams that we both had. I'm pretty spoiled in my relationship and I'm ok with it, because I spoil him too.

  5. I totally agree---hear hear to being mutually dependent!

  6. I definitely struggled with the idea of being independent versus "co-dependent", especially when we were talking about me staying at home with Lizzy.

    I think you nailed it when you talked about how co-dependence is always framed as being a bad thing, when really there are some definite positives to co-dependence, in the context of a healthy, non-abusive marriage!

  7. I struggled with this but I agree, I'm all for mutually dependent! Well said!

  8. How is that book. We have it and I could never get into it. I guess I didn't really try lol. Sometimes I get so tired of reading my school books the last thing I want to do is read a serious book so I always go for something light. I do need to read that book though
    Have you heard of the book laugh your way to a better marriage. It's written by a pastor and he even hosts marriage seminars. We went to one put on by the military and the book and seminar was awesome

  9. Ummm ... I think you've confused some terms. Depending on others in a healthy way is not codependent. Relying on your SO for emotional and financial support is NOT codependent. Codependence is an addiction to being needed -- it's when you need to be needed so much that you develop relationships with unhealthy people (usually addicts) who need you. It's when you're almost happy that your husband comes home sloppy drunk and you have to call his boss the next day and lie and say he is sick because if it weren't for you, he would lose his job and his life would fall apart. It's that kind of unhealthy need to be needed. So you can call yourself codependent if you want I guess. Just be aware of what that term means.

  10. I am so like you, Sarah. I am very independent, but for some reason, with Kurt, I am very good at depending on him for things, and relying on him for others. I love how our relationship is so give and take, and I love how I can count on him and do not have to do it all myself. I am so happy you found that with Matt. As for the definition of "co-dependent" or the use of the word, I have never looked it up and I dont really use that term ever. But, I get what you are trying to say, and I think the word can be used in numerous ways, some of which are positive, and others which could be negative.

  11. My whole life, I was waiting to find my husband who I could depend on and who could depend on me. I couldn't wait to find the person that I would feel so comfortable to do that. It can be hard because it's so much easier to self-protect and count on ourselves. It's scary to become vulnerable and trust someone else with your heart. But man oh's so stinkin' worth it, isn't it? Loved your post. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Well said! Your posts always make me think...and make me want to be a better wife with a clean house and fresh bread in the oven :)

  13. I was very independent growing up (so is hubs)and actually both hubs and I had reached the point (before we started dating) where we had sworn off dating and weren't even sure if we'd ever get marrierd...then we started dating and that all went out the window! :) I think it took a bit of learning but I am definitely dependent on my husband now, just as he is dependent on me...I know some people hate the phrase but we are one entity now so yes, we are codependent. Often times being dependent on a God is critized as well. People can make fun all they want but they don't know what they are missing! :)

    Left you a little something on my blog!

  14. I think this is a very good hit close to home for me! As someone who watched her mom stay in an abusive relationship for 20 years due to codependency, I have majorly pushed back against relying on anyone! Where as, it really is important to have a "mutual dependence" as you put it. Great post!

    I'm glad I found your blog!

  15. Just stumbled across your blog this morning and adore it! Great post. I am a very new newlywed myself. New follower and just wanted to say hi! Happy Sunday.


What do you think?

  © Blog Design by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates

Back to TOP